Rederiaktiebolaget Eckerö: Historically high volumes in 2024

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

Historically high levels for both passenger and freight operations in both the Gulf of Finland and the Åland Sea.

Full Year 2023 (compared to 2022)

+20% passengers 3,140,221 (2,624,674)

+11% freight units 176,351 (159,228)

+19% turnover EUR 221.5 million (EUR 185.8 million).

+Operating result 21,4 MEUR (-8,4 MEUR)

+Result 11,5 MEUR (-12,7 MEUR)

Q4, 2023 (compared to Q4, 2022)

+4% passengers 656,622 (629 473)

+12% freight units 44,795 (39,987)

+6% turnover EUR 48.7 million (EUR 46.0 million)

+Operating result 0,9 MEUR (-13,4 MEUR)

+Result 0,2 MEUR (-13,7 MEUR).

Source (in Swedish): PDF

Photo: Eckeröline

HAV Design contracted to design autonomous zero-emission ferries, to be built at Tersan

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

Norway-based HAV Design has signed a contract to design and develop four newbuild, autonomous zero-emission ferries that will operate the Lavik-Oppedal crossing on the northwest coast of Norway.

Under the contract, HAV Design will deliver ship design and an engineering package for all four autonomous ferries. The ship design is based on a future-oriented operating concept that ferry operator Fjord1 has developed together with HAV Design. The ferries will be able to operate with autonomous navigation and a high degree of automation of vessel functions that replace manual operations on board.

Lavik–Oppedal is a ferry route that crosses the Sognefjord, on the northwest coast of Norway, from Lavik in Høyanger municipality to Ytre Oppedal in Gulen municipality. The ferry crossing takes 20 minutes, and the route is 5.6 kilometres long.

Four newbuild zero emission ferries will operate the route from 1 September 2026 onwards.

The vessels will be built at Tersan Shipyard in Turkey which is HAV Design’s contract partner for the four newbuilds.

BC Ferries: first look at new major vessel concepts

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

Two conceptual renderings of BC Ferries’ New Major Vessels program are the first look at what up to seven new ferries could look like when they enter operation starting in 2029.

The ferries will carry up to 360 standard sized vehicles and 2,100 people, compared to a capacity of 250-310 vehicles and 1,200-1,500 people on retiring vessels. The vessels will be standardized with others in the fleet to allow BC Ferries to be more flexible in moving them between routes when maintenance or refits are required, without disrupting customer travel.

The basic design for these vessels is being developed in collaboration with LMG Marin AS in order to maximize efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The design calls for engines capable of using bio- and renewable fuels and includes a battery-hybrid propulsion system that will allow for conversion to full battery-electric operation once shore-based recharging infrastructure becomes available.

BC Ferries issued a Request for Supplier Qualification (RFSQ) for its New Major Vessels program. The RFSQ is available through the international shipbroker Clarksons, as well as on It will close on March 22, 2024. Qualified shipyards will then have the opportunity to take part in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, currently expected to occur in the summer of 2024.

The measures proposed by SEEN for the competitiveness of the Hellenic Coastal Shipping

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

On 22 February 2024, Mr Dionisios Theodoratos, the Chairman of the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies, addressed the Association’s proposals concerning the challenges and competitiveness of Hellenic Coastal Shipping during the event for the cutting of the New Year’s pitta. [in Greek]

During his opening speech, he summarised the four proposed measures:

  • Financing the decarbonisation of the coastal shipping fleet.
  • Updating port governance and implementing port infrastructures to support the green transition.
  • Enhancing maritime training and attracting young people to staff coastal ships.
  • Implementing fiscal measures to support and restore competitiveness, including:
  • Ensuring equal treatment of the competitiveness of the Greek coastal shipping fleet with the international and domestic lines of the member states of the European Union, with similar policies as in other EU states.
  • Maintaining a VAT rate of 13% for passengers and extending it to cars from 1/1/2025.
  • Redefining the terms and conditions of public service award notices for chartering ships for the service of public service lines.
  • Regulating the principles and operation of the Coastal Transport Council.
  • Implementing Regulation 352/2017 for the liberalisation of port services, including solid waste and other services (such as cable tie, general passenger services, towing).
  • Establishing an Electronic Reservation System in Coastal Shipping for electronic seat reservation and issuance of passenger tickets and vehicle transport receipts.

Photo credit: SEEN

Scandlines New Year’s reception in Kiel: Emission-free ferry operations begin in 2024

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

From left to right: Managing Director of Scandlines Deutschland GmbH Heiko Kähler, President of the State Parliament Kristina Herbst, State Secretary Tobias von der Heide, CEO Scandlines Michael Guldmann Petersen, Ingo Gädechens MdB.

Photo: Marc Benkmann/Scandlines

Scandlines’ traditional New Year’s reception took place in Kiel in the presence of Schleswig-Holstein’s State Secretary for Transport, Tobias von der Heide.

Scandlines’ management highlighted the first fully battery-electric ferry and further plans for the electrification of the Puttgarden-Rødby route.

  • The electric ferry Futura is set to commence operations in 2024, operating entirely on electricity.
  • Initially, Futura will be charged with electricity only in Rødby, with plans to expand charging to Puttgarden by 2025.
  • The next phase involves converting the other ferries on the Vogelfluglinie to 80% battery operation before transitioning to entirely electric operation with zero direct emissions by 2030, with two of the four ferries on the Puttgarden-Rødby route making the switch by 2025.
  • Challenges related to fluctuating electricity prices in Germany are noted, with Scandlines hoping for support from German politics.
  • Digital solutions are being implemented to enhance the customer experience during booking, at ports, and on board.
  • While the freight segment experienced slight declines in 2023, Scandlines anticipates growth in the latter half of 2024.

Grimaldi strengthens its Brindisi-Igoumenitsa link

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

Grimaldi Group started to deploy Europalink on the twice-daily Brindisi-Igoumenitsa service on 29 February.

Europalink is the RoPax with the greatest cargo capacity ever deployed in the Adriatic Sea, says Grimaldi in a press release. The new ship will join another modern RoPax, Kydon Palace, on the line where the Grimaldi Group offers two regular daily departures from each of the two ports.

The Italian-flagged Europalink can transport 930 passengers and 3,900 linear meters of rolling freight, equal to 220 trucks. Compared to the ship Igoumenitsa, that she will replace on the line, she can transport 20% more passengers and approximately 50% more trucks on each voyage.

P&O Ferries: promising results from its new fuel and energy efficiency initiative

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

P&O Ferries cut almost 50,000 tons of carbon emissions from its operation in 2023 with the introduction of a new hybrid ferry and its new dedicated initiative to reduce fuel consumption – the Fleet Support Centre for Fuel and Energy Efficiency.

This follows a reduction of over 85,000 tons in 2022, achieved through partnerships with other operators to enable the company to sail less frequently – and other measures to improve the technical efficiency of its vessels.

P&O’s Fleet Support Centre, based at the company’s Dover headquarters, uses the latest SmartShip technology and fuel meters onboard each ferry. This gives the company a wealth of new data that can be used to track and reduce fuel and energy consumption. The ability to see granular data on fuel consumption for each route and vessel allows P&O Ferries to investigate any changes in consumption and see the result of efficiency efforts straight away.

The data also gives deep insight into the impact of different variables such as: the weather, operating system, method of operating the vessel and its schedule.

Since the rollout across the P&O Ferries’ fleet in recent months, the Fleet Support Centre’s new approach has reduced fuel consumption and related emissions on key routes during 2023, with further fuel reductions of 5% expected for 2024.

More details in the press release.

Photo: Simon Boulanger

European Commission opens in-depth State aid investigation into French compensation to maritime transport companies

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the public service compensation granted to Corsica Linea and La Méridionale for the provision of maritime transport services to Corsica between 2023 and 2030 is in line with EU State aid rules.

At this stage, based on its preliminary assessment, the Commission considers that additional information is necessary to determine whether the public compensation paid to Corsica Linea and La Méridionale is in line with EU State aid rules, and in particular with the 2012 Service of General Economic Interest (‘SGEI’) Framework.

For this reason, the Commission has decided to open an in-depth investigation to assess whether:

  • The inclusion of transport of towed freight and truck drivers in the contracts is justified by a public service need, given the presence on the market of a commercial offer developed from the neighboring port.
  • The volume of freight traffic to be transported pursuant to the contracts does not exceed the public service need identified by the French authorities.

In addition, additional clarifications are needed to conclude that the contracts comply with EU rules on public procurement.

Source: European Commission

State aid: the EU General Court dismisses the actions regarding the financing of the Fehmarn Belt fixed link project between Denmark and Germany

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

Unfortunately, Scandlines failed in its attempt to challenge the state funding for the rail and road tunnel connecting Denmark and Germany. The second-highest court in Europe sided with EU competition regulators who had endorsed the financial assistance.

“According to the General Court, the Commission was entitled to find that the Fixed Link project is of common European interest, inter alia because that project makes a significant and concrete contribution to the achievement of the European Union’s transport policy objectives and broader EU objectives, and that it will improve the connection between the Nordic countries and central Europe.”

Read the full text here.

Photo: Femern

Fast progress on the Blue Carrier 2 at Elefsis shipyards

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

Progress on the RoRo Blue Carrier 2 (ex-Clementine) has been swift, with the vessel undergoing major refit and upgrades at Elefsis shipyards since the beginning of January 2024.

The ship was purchased in March 2023 and will likely serve on the Piraeus-Dodecanese run sporting Blue Star Ferries livery. It is the second pure RoRo vessel in the company’s fleet.

Originally built in Japan in 1997, she has a carrying capacity for 458 cars and 160 unaccompanied trucks (2,309 lane meters/3 decks) and can travel at 18 knots.

Photo: Anastasios Anastasiou